The Mission of the Georgia Airports Association, or GAA, is “to provide, develop, and expand a safe and efficient airports system to meet the future economic growth of Georgia through the full implementation of the State Aviation System Plan (SASP).” The SASP recognizes that airports are an indispensable component of the state’s total transportation system that strongly supports the state’s economy.
Georgia’s Airport System
The Georgia Airports Association (GAA) Georgia’s airport system is an extremely important and valuable transportation resource for the state’s residents, businesses, and visitors. Currently, there are 104 publicly owned airports in what we call the Georgia Statewide Aviation System. Of these 104 airports, 95 are General Aviation (GA) facilities that serve only private and corporate aviation. The other 9 airports provide for commercial or regularly scheduled airline service in addition to serving the interests of general aviation.
Of the 104 public airports in Georgia, 49 airports have less than 20 based aircraft. While representing all the airports in Georgia, the GAA is a valuable and vocal state-wide voice for these smallest airports, because these airports do no rank high enough in the FAA’s priority system to receive Federal funds. This make’s the state’s aviation program all the more important, since it is the state’s program that provides the only source of funding for most airports.
Basically, GAA attempts to speak for all airports within the state to get the maximum amount of financial support it can for every airport regardless of size or type. It does this by educating the local state representatives and senators on the economic importance of airports to the state and in their specific districts and hometowns.
Many of our elected representatives know they have an airport within the district. However, many are unaware of the vital role these assets play in connecting their areas into the aviation system for their region and the state, and how this ties them into a nationwide aviation system that, in today’s environment, even has international implications for the smallest airport in the state. Even more important, until they understand the significance of timely transportation by air in today’s economic environment, many times they don’t realize the draw a first-class airport can have bringing businesses into their hometowns and districts.
Supporting Local Airports
Additionally, GAA provides a networking organization for all the airports in the state. Many of the airports in the state are managed and run by a one or two person team. Many times these same teams are at the airport on a part-time basis, because they have other responsibilities as part of a public works department or other organization within the county or city. The GAA provides an interface to airports of all size and complexity. The organization provides a forum where questions can be asked and answers and documents shared by people within the same business.
There’s the old adage about “reinventing the wheel”, and there is usually some airport within the GAA who has had the same or a similar problem. This information allows the smaller airfields to accomplish much more in a limited period of time with the money and resources they do have available.
We have recently updated our bylaws! Make sure you read these and understand how the Georgia Airports Associations operates.